Using a 4G router can provide a fantastic level of flexibility for your corporate network, with benefits ranging from faster installation at new locations to increased overall reliability. But where do you start finding the right router for your business?
How to choose a 4G router for your online business
If you don’t know which functions are most important to your company, or if you’re not even sure if your company should take this step, read on. In this article, we have put together a short manual for everything you need to know about investing in a 4G router.
Backup Internet access
If you’re in business, this word will cool you down to basics: Time-out. This awful situation can cost your business thousands of dollars, and companies can lose more than $5,000 a minute in downtime. If your business is just getting started, it’s likely to be less, but even then any loss of money can be potentially devastating – that’s where the 4G router could come in.
Make sure you have a pre-configured standby mode, which means that even if your main circuit fails, you can back it up to keep your business running. It’s always good to have a backup plan. In this case, it may even save your company from a possible collapse.
Different types of routers
Although a single data connection can work for a small user, most companies need much more data. So you need a router that can handle multiple cellular data connections – a so-called multi-SIM router – and this simply means that the router has more than one SIM card slot. Usually, they can carry two to twenty SIM cards, and these SIM cards usually belong to two or more network operators.
Working with multiple network providers provides an important performance advantage that can save your business from disruption. For example, if your router only has SIM cards from one Internet service provider – or maybe just one SIM card in general – disconnecting means you’re offline. If you use SIM cards from multiple providers, you can be sure that the loss of one provider’s coverage does not mean that your network is completely out of service. Your performance may decrease temporarily, but this is a much better option than losing contact in the beginning.
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So there are a few things to consider when buying your router. First, you must determine whether the router is intended for a single user or a company – if it is intended for the former, you may be able to do without a single connection, provided that a permanent connection is not absolutely necessary for you. Otherwise, the Multi-SIM router is very important! Second, make sure your router does support multiple SIM cards when needed, and not just provide a backup connection.
Correct configuration for you
Once you’ve decided to buy a router, you need to know how to configure it, because different devices are better suited to certain configurations, each with its own advantages.
Most companies prefer to combine the power of the SIM cards they use into a single Internet connection. In addition, this connection is formed by connections from different suppliers, making the connection both fast and reliable. Installing your router this way is called a link.
You can also use SIM connections separately, each used for a single user or application on the network. This configuration is called load balancing and although it seems effective, it reduces the flexibility of the network and is much less reliable than links, so users can be turned off if the ISP or SIM card encounters problems.
If you’re still not sure where to go, you can discuss your needs with your IT department or supplier – they can explain exactly what you need from your new network engineer.
Ranking your applications in order of priority
Your organization may have certain critical applications that require a higher priority on the network than less critical applications. However, this can be difficult to organize: Imagine you have a team using a videoconferencing application for your weekly meeting, but another team handles some important customer service calls with critical systems.
Your network may not be able to handle this and you may have to make the decision to have a poor connection handled on both sides of the meeting or to postpone the meeting.
These solutions may not be ideal, but if you are able to make these decisions for your business, you can better control your daily activities and make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, instead of crossing your fingers. A traffic-priority router can allow this, and you can ask your IT team what they need to do to set the priority.
Critical applications that fail can have serious consequences for your business – when it comes to you, the ability to prioritize traffic can save your life.
Nowadays there are many circumstances in which it is very practical, if not impossible, to connect a physical Ethernet cable to each individual device. The ability to work wirelessly can be invaluable, especially if you want more freedom in your workplace, network or office. However, not all 4G routers can support wireless connectivity, so make sure this is a feature of every router when it’s important to your business.
Monitoring through reporting
Monitoring the operation of your network is essential to get much more information about your computer system. For example, if you know that your applications are running efficiently, that you are making good use of your resources and that the ISPs are charging you the right amount, you can get a better idea of how your business is performing.
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A 4G router that generates reports as part of a software package can tell you all this and much more, which is especially useful if you work with multiple vendors and don’t have time to constantly look at and compare them.
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